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Living in Scottsdale, AZ


Describing Scottsdale in one word or two is not enough. It is vibrant and breathtaking. It is an oasis to revel in nature and bask in the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. It boasts the perfect blend of Old West charm and big city amenities. And while preserving its rich culture and history, it has emerged as one of the country’s fastest growing cities with a thriving economy.

Here’s your guide to what you need to know about living in Scottsdale, AZ, and get acquainted with the lifestyle, fun things to do, and the various offerings of this dynamic city.



Scottsdale is a city of beautiful contrast. It is where residents can take a morning walk or ride horses in the Sonoran Desert, play golf or visit galleries and museums in the afternoon, and chill-out in bars, restaurants, and lounges in the evening.

Brief History of Scottsdale, AZ

When Scottsdale was incorporated as a city on June 25, 1951, it adopted the official nickname, “The West’s Most Western Town.” With iconic Old West images, cowboy rides, and saloons,
the city has a deep history of carving its own identity.

The original settlers in the area were members of the ancient Hohoka culture. Later the Pima tribe and other early communities lived along the Hohokam irrigation canals.

Because of the abundance of orange orchards along Camelback Mountain, the area was initially called Orangedale. It was changed to Scottsdale in 1894 in honor of its founder Winfield Scott. A former United States Army chaplain, Scott was inspired by the potential of agricultural ventures in Salt River Valley. He purchased 640 acres of land in the area and became one of the first residents in Scottsdale. Early settlers were drawn to living in Scottsdale, AZ because of its incredible scenery, favorable climate, and irrigated desert location.

Determined to establish an agricultural community in the area, Scott established the first public school system in 1896. A post office and a general store were then constructed in 1897.

Over time, Scott encouraged the migration of artists, writers and health workers to be part of the community.

A snapshot of Scottsdale today

Rich western heritage

Known for its cattle ranching culture, Scottsdale incorporated the famous nickname, “The West’s Most Western Town” on its official seal as proof of its western heritage. The city continues to celebrate this rich heritage in rodeo events billed as Parada del Sol Rodeo. Since 1953, Parada del Sol Rodeo has been one of the most anticipated events in Scottsdale, featuring the biggest horse-drawn parades, bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing, and other activities. More than 30,000 spectators attend this Scottsdale attraction annually.

A sanctuary for luxury

Scottsdale is the perfect sanctuary for luxury seekers with its enchanting desert landscape combined with sophisticated urban attractions. The city is famed for its upscale hotels and resorts, championship golf courses, unique wellness retreats, and posh boutiques. Scottsdale takes spa vacations seriously, having the highest density of spa resorts in the country and the highest number of spas per capita.

Exclusive communities

Scottsdale is the perfect sanctuary for luxury seekers with its enchanting desert landscape combined with sophisticated urban attractions. The city is famed for its upscale hotels and resorts, championship golf courses, unique wellness retreats, and posh boutiques. Scottsdale takes spa vacations seriously, having the highest density of spa resorts in the country and the highest number of spas per capita.



Scottsdale is so much more than just a travel or luxury destination. From a population of 2,000 in 1951, the city has grown exponentially to more than 240,000 residents today. Scottsdale is consistently ranked as one of the best cities to live, retire, or acquire a second home.

Whether you are a professional, retiree, or millennial, there is no shortage of fun things to do, activities, and attractions in Scottsdale Here are some of the reasons why living in Scottsdale is one of the best decisions you can make.

  • The climate
  • One the primary reasons why many homebuyers move to Scottsdale is the warm and sunny weather year round. Owing to its desert location, you can soak up the abundant sunshine for almost 300 days in a year. Evenings are chilly even during summer, perfect for alfresco dining. Spring in Scottsdale is the best time to venture outdoors, get active, and enjoy the scenic landscape. Scottsdale’s weather is a major draw for snowbirds looking to escape a chilly winter. The city gets only 100 days of rainfall every year, and winters are generally mild.

  • Location
  • Scottsdale covers an area of around 184 square miles in Maricopa County, AZ, situated in the lush Sonoran Desert at the foot of the McDowell Mountains. To the west, the city is bordered by Phoenix, giving residents easy access to the myriad attractions and amenities in the City of the Sun as well as its suburbs such as Paradise Valley and Tempe. A short drive away from Scottsdale are the communities of Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert.

    If you’re looking to get further away, Scottsdale is just a car drive away from several major destinations like San Diego and Las Vegas. The city is barely fifteen minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport, and provides easy access to major highways, making commuting to work or traveling to the greater Phoenix area very convenient

  • Quality of life
  • From a quiet western town, Scottsdale has become one of the top three fastest growing cities for millionaires. While the city has seen an influx of high-net worth individuals, it maintained a population of mostly middle to upper middle class residents. Scottsdale is defining a high quality of life with its historical charm, natural beauty, world-class golf courses, luxury resorts, and world class dining and shopping. A popular tourist destination, Scottsdale has one of the largest concentrations of AAA Five-Diamond hotels and resorts in the country.

    The wealth of amenities boosts the job market in Scottsdale, particularly in hospitality, tourism, healthcare, finance, and technology. It is listed among the top 10 cities to find a new, well-paying job, and enjoy a good quality of life.

    Cleanliness and attention to details are noticeable in Scottsdale. Parks are clean, safe, and well maintained with lush landscaping. Infrastructure in the city is of high standards ensuring the city keeps a cohesive upscale atmosphere.

  • Activities and outdoor recreation
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    With scenic desert landscapes, rugged nature parks, and exceptional golf courses, Scottsdale is an idyllic outdoor playground for the affluent. Celebrated as one of the world’s finest golf destinations, the city is home to more than 200 golf courses and first-class facilities designed by esteemed golf architects. Six of the city’s courses are cited in Golf Magazine Top 100 list, by far the most number in any city. Book a tee time in these renowned courses:

    • Troon North is ranked as one of the top golf courses in the country, featuring challenging layouts and stunning views of the Sonoran desert.
    • Grayhawk Golf Club hosted a number of PGA TOUR events, and was ranked by Golf Digest as one of the top 100 public courses in the country.
    • TPC Scottsdale is the home of the WM Phoenix Open, one of the largest events on the PGA Tour.
    • We-Ko-Pa immerses golfers in the game with two award-winning golf courses and serene mountain views in every direction.

    Get into the wild western vibe and saddle on horseback riding in the Sonoran Desert. Mac Donald’s Ranch has well-trained horses that can take you into the dramatic desert. The ranch also conducts cowboy cookouts for an authentic western town experience.

    Explore desert trails in the largest urban preserve in the country, The McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Spanning over 30,000 acres, the Preserve offers 100 miles of free trails for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. It is also a home to the unique flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert.

    For experienced rock climbers, Pinnacle Peak Park is a thrilling adventure. The peak has an elevation of 3,169 feet, and once you reach the top, you’re rewarded by amazing views of the rugged desert.

    One of the popular outdoor recreation areas to bring your kids is the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. The kid-friendly and family-oriented park has been one of the most unique attractions in Scottsdale, Arizona for decades. The theme park features the Scottsdale Railroad Train Museum, a 10,000-square-foot Model Railroad Building, and kids playgrounds. Take a ride on the famous Paradise & Pacific Railroad and the 1950-vintage Allan Herschell carousel.

  • Dining options
  • Scottsdale is a haven for culinary enthusiasts and food lovers. Throughout the city, you’ll find a delightful mix of upscale fine dining , farm-to-table restaurants, local eateries, and trendy gastropubs to satisfy every palate.

    • Monarch Cafe I 6939 E 1st Avenue
    • Cited as one of the “Top Three Fining Dining Restaurants in the Nation” by Trip Advisor, Monarch Cafe is pure elegance. The ambiance is romantic, old-timey, and classic European. This illustrious dining gem offers guests a four-course meal in a sophisticated setting. A recipient of the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator from 2018 to 2022, the five star restaurant offers delectable food with excellent wine pairings.

    • FnB I 7125 E 5th Avenue, #31
    • FnB simply stands for food and beverage but its innovative approach to farm-to table dishes are extraordinary. This celebrated restaurant serves an ever-changing menu based on the availability of fresh, local ingredients. The farm-fresh dishes are curated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Charleen Badman. FnB also showcases a carefully thought out wine list featuring Arizona’s finest wines.

    • Arcadia Farms Café I 7025 E 1st Avenue
    • Located in Downtown Scottsdale, Arcadia Farms Café first opened in 1990 as a community carryout market and bakery. This beloved dining spot offers French-inspired dishes, gourmet sandwiches, fresh organic salads, hand crafted patisserie, fine wines and cocktails.

    • Jade Bar I Sanctuary Camelback Mountain
    • Sleek and chic, Jade Bar is perfect for your romantic rendezvous. This restaurant and lounge bar is best enjoyed in the serene patio seating with unrivaled views of the city. During the day, the floor to ceiling glass wall provides amazing views of Camelback Mountain. Jade Bar is known for its artisanal cocktails and exceptional culinary creations.

  • Arts and culture
  • Beyond being the heartland of cowboys, Scottsdale is a hub of arts and culture. The city has a thriving art scene with more than 125 galleries and museums, architectural wonders, and performing arts venues.

    • The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the most impressive museums featuring the artworks, installations, and architectural designs of world-renowned contemporary artists. The minimalist building is a complete retrofit of a former movie theater, designed by Phoenix-based architect Will Bruder. It includes a public “skyspace” where you can experience the ever-changing light of the desert sky.
    • The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is a premier hall for the performing arts showcasing a diverse season of music, dance, film, and theater from around the globe.Most of the performances are held in the state-of-the-art, 853-seat Virginia G. Piper Theater, highly recognized for its acoustics, intimacy, and comfort.
    • Taliesin West is Scottsdale’s only National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Nestled at the foot of the McDowell Mountains, Taliesin West was started in 1937 by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This amazing winter home is a prime example of organic architecture in harmony with the environment.
    • Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West relieves the culture and history of the American West. Located in Old Town Scottsdale, this two-story, 43,000-square-foot museum features interesting exhibits, ranging from Native American and Western art, historical artifacts and pottery, and Navajo chiefs’ blankets, to a collection of 1,400 Old West cowboy gears.

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  • Community amenities
    • Shops
    • Residents living in Scottsdale take pleasure in the luxurious resort lifestyle. Upscale boutiques and renowned shopping centers are prominent in the area, pampering the locals with retail therapy. Scottsdale Fashion Square is the largest shopping mall in the state, and the premier destination for luxury shopping, while the Scottsdale Waterfront and Kierland Commons offer a mix of trendy boutiques, and local artisanal products. Locals get to meet other locals in OldTown Farmers Market, and support 100 local growers, artisans, craftspeople, and specialty food producers.

    • Healthcare
    • Scottsdale is home to the world-class Mayo Clinic, providing innovative healthcare in the region. Several top-rated health facilities, such as Scottsdale Healthcare Hospitals (now HonorHealth Hospitals), and Banner Behavioral Health Hospital ensure that the community is being served with high-quality medical care.

    • The Scottsdale Greenbelt
    • The Scottsdale Greenbelt, also known as the Indian Bend Wash path, is a 11-mile green space and recreational trail. Stretching from Scottsdale’s Shea Boulevard to Tempe Town Lake, the greenbelt is a beautiful oasis of lakes, parks, golf courses, tennis courts, baseball fields, and trails knitted in a winding path. The trails are perfect for biking, jogging, walking, distance running, rollerblading, or simply walking your dog. It features several ponds and waterways where families can picnic on the shore while watching the geese and kids playing under the sun.

  • Getting Around
  • Scottsdale is highly walkable, and you can go to many places without needing a car. There are also plenty of public transportation options that makes getting around easy and convenient.

    • The local trolley is one of the most popular ways to get around the area.
    • Serving Scottsdale and the Phoenix metropolitan area, the Valley Metro Transit system is another public transportation option.
    • The city-funded Cab Connection provides participants with monthly vouchers for transportation to designated locations.
    • Seniors and people with disabilities benefit from door-to-door transportation of the Valley Metro Paratransit system.
  • Education
  • Scottsdale has been consistently listed as one of top cities to raise a family primarily due to the quality of schools in the area. Ths city takes pride in having a number of highly ranked schools in the state, such as Basis Scottsdale that ranked as the #4 Top Charter High School in the US, Notre Dame Preparatory School, Basis Scottsdale Primary West Campus, and Sequoya Elementary School.

    Scottsdale is also cited among the best cities for college graduates to start a career

  • Real estate market
  • The Scottsdale real estate market has a popular appeal among homebuyers and property investors. High appreciation rate, rising demand for rental properties, proximity to the state capital, and Arizona’s low property tax make Scottsdale a real estate hotspot.

    • The median listing home price in Scottsdale, AZ was $972.5K in October 2023, climbing up 8.2% year-over-year.
    • The median listing home price was $440 per square foot.
    • Scottsdale, AZ has a balanced housing market as of October 2023, which is favorable for both buyers and sellers.

    Scottsdale is a renowned destination for luxury real estate. The vibrant city offers extensive residential options in different areas:

    • South Scottsdale
    • This area features single and multi-family dwellings, townhomes, ultra modern high-rise condominiums, and historic properties. More than 300 homes built in the post war era are listed in the National Historic Register.

    • Downtown Scottsdale and Old Town
    • This part of Scottsdale offers great choices for single-family homes, mid-rise and high-rise chic condos, townhomes, and penthouses.

    • Central Scottsdale
    • Custom and semi-custom golf course luxury homes, golf course condos, townhomes, and waterfront properties make up the real estate scene in this area.

    • North Scottsdale
    • Here, you’ll find a wealth of million-dollar custom and semi-custom estates in golf communities, as well as upscale condos and townhomes.


Learn more about the amazing rewards of living in Scottsdale, AZ with the luxury real estate experts at the Carol Royse Team. A top-rated Realtor, Carol Royse has over 30 years of unparalleled experience in Scottsdale and nearby areas, and together with her team of 25 experienced agents, she delivers the highest level of representation to clients. With the team’s extensive network, you can access exceptional off-market properties in the highly coveted Scottsdale neighborhood.

Call the Carol Royse Team today at 480.776.5231, or send a message here.

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